difference between whirlpool and jacuzzi

Many people use the terms “whirlpool” and “hot tub” interchangeably.

However, this can cause confusion when shopping, as most manufacturers use these terms to differentiate one from the next. The same quirk happens when we use the brand name “Kleenex” when referring to tissues, or “Xerox” machine when referring to copy machines.

These are simply brands that have become so prominent in their respective industries that they’ve monopolized their products, as well as popular vocabulary.

In this little guide, we’re going to point out the differences between hot tubs and whirlpools so that you can become a knowledgeable shopper.

The phrases “Whirlpool Tub” or “Whirlpool bath” are commonly used to describe bath or spa models that make use of Whirlpool jets. Whirlpool baths often have jets that create a circular motion. For example, Jacuzzi is a spa brand that makes Whirlpool bath and spa models.

Back in the 1950s, the Jacuzzi family came up with the modern concept for high-quality air-jet pumps. They pioneered the idea of warm water hydrotherapy and created one of the most recognizable brand names in the world. However, today, Jacuzzi is one of MANY spa manufacturers, not all of which use the Whirlpool concept.

American Whirlpool also happens to be the name of a totally separate hot tub company.  

With that said, most spa models, even beyond Jacuzzi, come standard with similar drain features, pump features, heat features, and more, delivering a relaxing experience while you soak. However, understanding the terms and the differences between them can help you search for the right product.

Difference Between Hot Tub And Whirlpool

So, what’s the difference between a Whirlpool bath and a hot tub?

Primarily, Whirlpool baths and hot tubs are the same things. For example, both Whirlpool bath and hot tub models use jets for hydrotherapy, and many use warm water features for comfortable soaking.

However, Jacuzzi is the company that came up with Whirlpool jets back in the 1950s, so it’d only be truly correct to refer to a Jacuzzi spa as a Whirlpool bath, as other hot tubs and spas use different jet systems.

In terms of quality, a Whirlpool bath and your average, non-Jacuzzi hot tub can be similar or different. We’d often use the “Whirlpool” term if we were referring to a bath in the bathroom. Some people might also refer to Whirlpool bath as a “jetted tub.”

These jetted tubs are typically made with acrylic or fiberglass and can either be put in during new construction or used to replace an existing bath.

On the other hand, we would use the term “hot tub” to refer to an outdoor or indoor spa with hydrotherapy features. Jacuzzis are hot tubs as well. These products range from above-ground hot tubs to in-ground spas. Above-ground hot tubs are often made of wood or acrylic, though it really depends on the brand.

Since ancient times, hot water bathing has been acknowledged as a healing treatment, though the term “hot tub” only popped up in the late 1960s and early 1970s to refer to warm water tubs with jet features.

In terms of size, it is very much possible to have a portable hot tub or spa that is the same size as your average Whirlpool tub. Jacuzzi, the most popular brand name in the hot water spa industry, makes a variety of high-end portable spa models with massage features. These spa models can be used as a traditional bath or outdoor tub.

Final Thoughts – Finding the Right Way To Soak For Your Needs

While many consumers and sellers use the above terms interchangeably, there is a clear difference when you start searching for spas online.

After inventing Whirlpool jets back in the 1950s, Jacuzzi became a generic term, encapsulating baths, spas, hot tubs, and other likewise products.

However, Jacuzzi is a very particular brand name with its own accessories, features, and design elements. 

There are so many different spa brand names out there today, and we hope we’ve helped you navigate the differences between a few commonly used terms in the hot tub industry.

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